I have been reading this 5 days devotion on the Bible App called ‘Redeeming The Feminine Soul’ by Julie Roys, and her last day writing got me thinking how we women are very misogynic.
I choose to the devotion because it offered insights on how biblically feminism can be achieved without discrimination, hatred and all the other displayed online traits.
“The word misogyny comes from the Greek misos, meaning “hatred,” and gyne, meaning “woman.” People often use this term quite literally to mean “hatred of women.”
-Julie wrote in the devotion.
The above description got me thinking deeper in the view that women can hate each other more than what women think men hate them for. There have been calls online mainly on Twitter in 2017 for women to support each and love each, create care, support and emotional groups all targeted a lot, to the notion that the misogyny nature is mainly male based but none or less in women themselves.
But Julie wrote and said that,
“I had never really considered that women could be misogynists, that we can internalize the misogyny we have received and actually despise and suppress uniquely feminine aspects in ourselves. We might reject uniquely feminine roles such as motherhood. Or, we might embrace and value traditionally masculine traits, including power, reason, and initiative, while spurning traditionally feminine ones, such as tenderness, emotion, and intuition. This more subtle form of misogyny manifests as a hatred of the feminine—of what women uniquely contribute and represent. Ironically feminists who are supposed to promote women are some of the worst perpetrators of this type of misogyny.”
As a tomboy, I used to consider some of the softness exhibited by my female peers as weakness, it never occurred to me that I harbored misogynistic attitudes. Julie had the same feelings even if she was promoted the interests of women as much as possible. Until one time when she attended a conference sponsored by Ministries of Pastoral Care—a ministry founded by Leanne Payne (deceased). There she was introduced to the many ways misogyny can manifest.
Her first incident was when she started having visceral responses towards Payne, and this was because she says
“Payne would often refer to the audience as “dear ones” and would speak to us in soft and tender tones. She also communicated poetically, which irritated me. I wanted her to communicate concepts efficiently and succinctly.”
Payne was in her late sixties at the time and was grandmotherly in her delivery and the more Julie listened to her delivery the more she got frustrated and this turned to disgust and dislike.
“She was too sweet, too soft-spoken, too—something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then it hit me. She was too feminine.”
Every many women who consider themselves woke tend to exhibit disliking characteristics of others who they think to be extremely feminine. This is because some of the feminine characteristics are associated with weakness. And it is that weakness that many women think allows men to dominate and dismiss them.
Some of the feminine characteristics associated with weakness include;
- Being kind and gentle are traditionally associated with femininity. (Something something “sugar and spice.”) But according to what our culture teaches us, being too nice or too kind is connotative of being a pushover or a someone people can walk over. That paired with the idea that “masculine = strong; masculine = opposite of feminine; therefore, feminine = opposite of strong” gives people the notion that kindness = weakness.
- Then there is the want to be powerful, the desire to succeed, the need to control one’s own destiny; to drive, to strive and to push. Hard. Those desires, wants and needs have made us believe that abandoning ourselves is the best way to go to achieve them and thus we take on the masculine version of us. Because times are changing. There is another way, and it starts with us reclaiming who we really are. It’s time to come home to yourself. Time to honor the sacred feminine within us. The nurturing, empathic, intuitive and compassionate side of yourself. It’s time to open yourself up to the wisdom of who you really are.
- Appearing soft, vulnerable, and essentially powerless is not weakness. Denying one self’s core traits, the things that make a woman come alive and ignite her soul, are actually her feminine aspects that should be seen and valued. The ability to nurture others as well as oneself as a woman, even your kindness, humor, your creativity, your positive expression are indeed femininity itself.
It’s 2018, do the needful!